There were noticeable gaps in Clemson’s student section at times during the first four home games of the season.
Clemson administrators and students are hopeful that changes to the student ticket policy will keep that from being the case the second half of the year.
The biggest change is that the Tigers will be using a “waterfall” process for the final three home games of the season, including next week’s 8 p.m. kickoff against Georgia Tech.
Clemson distributes tickets during a time slot with collegiate club members getting the first opportunity to register for tickets, followed by graduate students, seniors, juniors, etc.
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The new method will allow students to register in their initially assigned slot by class standing, as well as the following slot, meaning that seniors will have the opportunity to log on during their senior slot and junior slot.
Previously, if a senior was unavailable to apply for a ticket during the senior time slot they would be unable to attend the game.
Josh Hutchinson, the Athletics Chairman for Clemson Student Government, believes the new policy should make a difference.
“We’re hoping that’s going to help a lot of individuals get tickets, be able to have more students get tickets to the game, have those students that really want to be there get those tickets,” Hutchinson said. “We think the attendance should increase for Georgia Tech. We hope this new policy will increase it and do better.”
Clemson has distributed 10,724 student tickets for every home game this season, but less than 8,000 students showed up for each of the past two home games against Boston College and Wake Forest.
Attendance on the hill has been particularly bad. The Tigers distribute 3,000 tickets for the hill each week. Only 2,062 were used against Boston College and 1,539 were used against Wake Forest.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said following the Wake Forest game that he was confident changes would be made to help the student ticket process for the second half of the season.
“They’ll get all of that figured out,” Swinney said. “I’m not in the weeds on all of that stuff. I don’t really know. I’m trying to get a football team ready to play. That’s my part. That’s my job. The administration will handle all that other stuff.”
Clemson AD Dan Radakovich tweeted last Wednesday that Clemson was working to make sure the hill will be full for the rest of the season.
Clemson sent an email to students later that week detailing the new policy, which also includes wristbands that will allow for an easy exit and re-entry onto the hill, as well as a hill pathway so that students arriving early will have the best seats anywhere on the hill.
“It was a great collaboration. They really care about the students,” Hutchinson said.” “They want to pack that stadium for the football team. They worked really hard to get this policy back that the students wanted.”
Hutchinson said the feedback he has received from students since the change was announced has been positive.